8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9 “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” 10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’” 11 Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him. – Matthew 4:8-11
After tempting Jesus to not trust His Father’s provision and care for His life (see last week’s post), Satan lays it all on the line, offering Jesus the world and all its glory. What I find convicting about Jesus’ response is that He doesn’t debate or dabble with Satan. Jesus has been offered the very world He created and yet He sees no need to discuss with Satan about who really can offer the world. On the contrary, we get into bargains with the enemy, dabbling with sin to see if the offer of true life is there, only to be left deceived and broken.
Satan tempts many of us as we are watching professional athletes, or possibly our own teammates and opponents. If only we got to where they were, we would have the whole world. Satan whispers lies of comparison and shackles us with thoughts of what life could be like. Unlike Jesus, Satan never holds up his end of the promise. The truth is nothing Satan can offer, even the whole world, was created to satisfy your deepest longings or to bring you glory.
If we worship the world and devote our lives to what it has to offer, we will be left unsatisfied and lost. However, when we worship God with our whole lives, on and off the field, the world is put in its rightful place and we will find that all it has to offer are opportunities to know and glorify God. What do you worship? Are you devoting your life to sports, hoping you will gain the whole world? Put God on the throne of your life and let sports simply be an opportunity to know and glorify God.
- Examine your heart: Why do you play sports?
- Ask God to protect you from Satan’s lies and remind you of His promises.
- Prayerfully place God on the throne of your life.